Several advances took place with regards to mobile phones in the U.S. in 2010. However, sending text messages remained the top mobile activity for the year that was pegged to be yet another “year of mobile”.
According to comScore’s report, 2010 US Digital Year in Review, new and highly advanced mobile handsets were introduced along with new mobile content options and applications. The use of smart phones and the 3G spectrum increased significantly and the use of browsers and applications through mobile handsets went up by 7.6 percentage points between December 2009 and 2010 as a result of this.
The availability of new data plans with 3G and 4G services have also furthered the growth of the mobile industry. 29% of mobile subscribers now have unlimited data plans compared to 21.7% last year. This, coupled with the introduction of handsets such as the iPhone 4, Windows Phone 7 and RIM Blackberry Torch has caused the usage of smart phones to reach an all-time high of 27% of all mobile handsets.
While RIM remains number 1 with a 31.6% share of the smartphone operating system market, Google’s Android OS has become the second largest, with 28.7% of the market largely due to large-scale adoption of Google Android powered devices.
Samsung was the most popular handset manufacturer last year in the U.S.A. accounting for 24.8% market share of devices sold. LG was second followed by Motorola, RIM and Apple.
Mobile devices continued to be used for a wide variety of activities in addition to making phone calls. Text messaging was the most popular activity, with 68% of American mobile subscribers texting in Decmber 2010.
While the dominance of SMS might seem old-fashioned, one must keep in mind that the mobile phone is a communications device first and foremost. Moreover, a number of new technologies saw increased adoption too. 39.5% of subscribers used their mobiles to get news and information, 36.4% used their mobile browsers, 34.4% used mobile apps and 21.4% accessed mobile search services.